Corona crisis: Conspiracy theories are booming – Health


If Attila Hildmann had had his way, the 15.

May 15 should have been the day when everything changed.

The cook and author of vegan cookbooks had announced the end of democracy and the beginning of a “new world order”.

Especially on the Internet and in the so-called “hygiene” demos: conspiracy theories are booming in the Corona crisis.

But why is this actually so? And how can you deal with people in your circle of acquaintances who advocate such theories? The psychologist Prof.

Andreas Kastenmüller and the literary scholar Dr.

Niels Penke from the University of Siegen provide answers in a recent communication.

The coronavirus was cultivated in a laboratory – in order to harm one or the other population group, depending on the opinion.

Elites and secret societies want to create a “new world order”.

Bill Gates wants compulsory vaccinations for all humanity.

During the Corona Era there are numerous conspiracy theories in circulation.

But who actually believes such things? And what is the best way to deal with it?

Conspiracy theories in Corona times: Experts offer tips on how to deal with it.

A bogeyman: Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who wants to establish a health dictatorship with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

But the 15.

May has now passed and nothing has happened.

Nevertheless Hildmann reaches hundreds of thousands of people with his theses on social media.

And he is by no means the only one who shares such messages.

The literary scholar is the coordinator of the research centre “Popular Cultures” and is concerned with the origins and further dissemination of so-called conspiracy theories.

Penke, however, speaks of conspiracy myths, “because the theories do not stand up to a fact-check”.

In the case of ignorance, bizarre explanations have an easy time

“Crisis situations provoke conspiracy theories.

Wherever we are dealing with ignorance, such explanations have a simple game,” explains Dr.

Niels Penke from the University of Siegen.

According to the expert, conspiracy theories could help to regain this supposed control, give a positive feeling.

As the communication explains, the Corona crisis provides a breeding ground for conspiracy theories in several respects.

“People have a need to explain and predict things.

This at least gives them the illusion of control,” says Prof.


Andreas Kastenmüller, holder of the Chair of Social and Economic Psychology at the University of Siegen.

“They recognize patterns and cobble together theories from them.

The less information I have – and in the case of the coronavirus there is very little – the easier it is to develop a coherent story of my own,” explains Prof. Dr. Andreas Kastenmüller.


Conspiracy theorists do not accept that a virus spreads to humans through a chain of coincidences and has such drastic effects that scientists change their opinion and politicians change their course.

“So the relationship to the problem is different.

And while many are trying to proceed rationally, others are looking for detours.

These detours are closer today than they used to be,” says Dr.


“Via social media, the content of conspiracy theories like the virus itself spreads quasi exponentially.

Celebrities such as the singer Xavier Naidoo, the cook Attila Hildmann or the former RBB journalist Ken Jebsen reach a multitude of people.

At some point, the topic is then also taken up by the classic media.

Unlike the murder of John F., for example.

Kennedy or the attacks of 11.

Unlike the murder of John F. Kennedy or the attacks of September 11th, events that are also the subject of numerous myths, this time people all over the world are affected – whether in terms of health as risk patients, professionally because of short-time work and job loss, or through restrictions in everyday life such as contact ban and curfew.

Conspiracy theories, he says, are particularly susceptible to people who think predominantly intuitively – and less analytically.

“Conspiracy theories are popular because they are easy to process,” says the psychologist.

WashingtonNewsday Health


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I am The Washington Newsday correspondent. I cover general science and Nasa news. I have been in the Science Desk's Technology Beat since joining Washington Newsday in 2018. You can contact me at [email protected]

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